When any piece of equipment fails it can be annoying at best – but when your o-ring seal fails, it can be catastrophic. Here are seven tips you can use to help prevent o-ring failures.
Spiral FailureSpiral failure typically occurs on long stroke hydraulic piston seals and rod seals. This usually occurs when the o-ring twists and gets caught, resulting in deep spiral cuts.
Prevention: regular lubrication of the o-ring will prevent the twisting that causes spiral failure.
Chemical DegradationChemical degradation occurs when the chemicals in use are not compatible with the materials the o-ring is made from. Chemical degradation appears as hardening, cracking, discoloration, and/or blistering of the o-ring.
Prevention: to prevent chemical degradation, choose o-rings that are compatible with the chemicals that the o-ring will come into contact with.
Thermal DegradationThermal degradation is less common and is likely a result of use in an environment that the o-ring is not rated for. Signs of thermal degradation are deformation and radial cracking.
Prevention: choose o-rings that are rated for use within your specific environment and operating range.
Compression SetWhen the O-ring appears to be flattening out at the cross section you can assume that the failure is attributed to compression set. This usually happens when the o-ring has been exposed to temperatures or chemicals that are outside of the range for the seal.
Prevention: Make sure that the o-ring is rated for use within your specific equipment temperature range and chemical exposure.
Installation DamageUser error is a very common reason for o-ring failure. When an o-ring is installed incorrectly it can result in gashes, nicks, and cuts in the seal.
Prevention: Make sure to follow the installation instructions closely. Frequently lubricating the seal is also a good way to ensure that the seal was installed correctly and prevent cuts and other damage.
OutgassingFailure due to outgassing can be hard to spot as it typically presents as a decrease in the cross section. Outgassing failures can be the result of improperly cured seals or high vacuum levels.
Prevention: ensure that all seals are properly cured. This will minimize the effects of outgassing.
Proper MaintenanceOne of the most important things you can do to prevent O-ring failures is to properly maintain and care for them. This means following this maintenance routine:
Prevention: when caring for an o-ring seal, make sure you refrain from poking and prying at the seal. This can create damage where there wasn’t any, to begin with. You’ll also want to refrain from introducing harsh chemicals to the seal when cleaning it or working on other parts of the equipment.
You need to know seven basic pieces of information make up your need to know when looking for a hose assembly. In fact, these 7 questions have become a standard in the industry and are denoted by the acronym S.T.A.M.P.E.D.
STAMPED stands for:
Here’s how it works.
Before you can determine which assembly you need, you have to know what size hose you need and how long the overall assembly needs to be.
The size of the hose is determined by the inner diameter and outer diameters and is usually noted as I.D. and O.D.
Make sure to take note if your hose assembly will have to bend at various angles. The fewer angles the better but if they are necessary you’ll want to account for that length.
Not knowing the temperature range that the hose will be exposed to can lead to a quickly failing hose assembly at best, and a catastrophic failure at worst.
When looking at temperature ranges, it’s important to consider the temperature of the material flowing through the hose, as well as the temperature around the outside of the hose.
Both the high and low temperatures are significant because that goes a long way in determining what material your hose assembly should be constructed from.
What exactly is the hose being used for? The kind of hose you’ll need will vary based on its purpose.
Therefore, it’s important to know if your hose will be used for suction, venting, hydraulic fluids, etc.
Different applications require different types of hoses constructed from different materials.
Media refers to the substance or material that will be flowing through the hose. This can be anything from air to chemical fluids and even various gases.
Because some substances react with materials differently than others, it’s important to understand exactly what media you are working with. You would hate to install a new assembly and then have the chemicals you are moving cause deterioration to the hose.
Understand the pressure that will be flowing through the hose assembly helps determine not only what type of hose you need, but also help determine the pressure ratings you need to have on your fittings.
Extremely high pressure flows for long periods of time, or even in bursts, can create an extreme amount of wear and tear on your hose if it’s not designed to handle that kind of pressure.
It can also cause leaks in fittings that are not designed to stand up to fluctuations in flow.
Getting the right fittings for the hose assembly is a very important part of the process. If the fittings aren’t designed to go on the hose you have, the assembly will quickly fail.
Other important factors are the angles you need the fittings to be at, the pipe thread you need, and if you need male or female fittings.
The size it important too. Does your assembly require a metric or JIC fitting? These two are not always interchangeable as the angle of the threads is not the same. The wrong fitting could lead to leaky hoses if not much worse.
When does your customer need the hose assembly? Are there more details? Sometimes you may not have the components to mmAake exactly what the customer needs, but if it is an emergency be creative. Use a higher pressure (NEVER lower) hose. if need be use adapters and swivels to get the end fitting configurations necessary. Does the hose need spring guard? Armor guard? Fire sleeve? Make sure you get all the details before making the hose assembly.
Choosing a hose assembly won’t feel like rocket science as long as you can answer the basic STAMPED questions. Each question plays a determining factor in making sure the hose is constructed of the right material, that it fits properly, that it will seamlessly connect to the equipment, and no leaking or other negative reactions take place.
Once you’ve got STAMPED answered, the rest falls into place.
The FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) is a pretty intense read. While it may be a confusing mess to wade through, it’s imperative you understand exactly what has changed, and how it affects you and your business. Let’s break it down and find out what you really need to know.
Who is Affected?For all intents and purposes, the FSMA affects any shippers, loaders, carriers or receivers transporting (by both vehicle or train) or otherwise handling food intended to be eaten by humans or animals within the United States.
Note: If the food is simply traveling through the U.S. to another destination, the new regulations will not apply.
What’s Required for Each Party?– Shippers are now required to provide to the carriers, in writing, the exact food safety requirements needed for safe transportation of their product. This extends to the type of equipment that is required as well special training associated with the transport of the product.
– Carriers are required to provide documentation upon request that details the trailer temperatures during every leg of transport. With many carriers moving to telematics devices that store data in the cloud, shippers are looking to receive this information real time. Carriers will also be required to show proper maintenance and cleanliness of trailers and equipment to ensure food safety.
– Freight Brokers, you aren’t off the hook. According to the FSMA rules, you are held responsible for the compliance of the carriers you work with. If you broker a move with a carrier that is not able to provide the necessary information upon request or is unable to meet the specific requirements of the shipper, your company can be held responsible.
– All parties must keep all written records of shipments and/or written agreements that fall under the FSMA guidelines for at least 12 months after the conclusion of the agreement.
– All parties must be prepared to show proper measures taken to prevent cross contamination of food. This includes but is not limited to raw food not coming into contact with prepared food or the introduction of allergens or chemicals that could contaminate the food.
– While all parties have a role to play in the training of proper food handling along the supply chain, the carriers have the additional responsibility of being able to produce documentation that all personnel was trained in sanitary transportation practices.
Note: The only caveat here is if the shipper does not agree that the carrier is responsible for sanitary conditions during transport.
Who Doesn’t Have To Comply?Given that the food and beverage industry is so heavily regulated as it is, the new provisions do make a few allowances.
These waivers are mainly for businesses who are already subject to State, Federal or local controls.
– Businesses in the milk industry who already have permits and are inspected by the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments.
– Businesses that are already certified and inspected by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference’s National Shellfish Sanitation Program.
– Businesses that are authorized to provide food directly to consumers. This can be restaurants, non-profit establishments or other food retailers.
Other waivers and exemptions include:
– Transportation of live animals that are intended for food.
– Transportation of human food by-product that will be used as food for animals and doesn’t require any further processing.
– Activities associated with food transportation on a farm.
– Shippers, carriers, and receivers in the industry of food transportation but do not have more that $500,000 in annual revenue on average.
– Food that is being transported through the United States but will be consumed in another country.
– Food that is imported to the United States for future export and will not be consumed or distributed in the U.S.
– Compressed food gases, such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide, that will be used in food or beverages.
– Food that is completely enclosed in a container and does not require temperature controls for safety.
Now, it’s important to note the deadline for compliance has passed (April 6, 2017). But, if you are considered a small business with 500 or fewer employees, or a carrier that does less than $27.5 million annually, you have until April 6, 2018, to comply.
If you have more specific questions, check out the FDA’s page on frequently asked questions regarding the FSMA.
I get a lot of questions about ISO standards – and some of the most common questions are about clean diesel, or ISO 4406.
The standard 4406 basically calls for a quantifiable measurement of particulate contamination to achieve a maximization of equipment performance and minimize repair and replacement issues and expenses.
But, there’s a lot more that goes into filtering, conditioning, and monitoring clean diesel. Let’s walk through it.
CoalescingCoalescing deals with removing water and particles from the fuel. The main reason pumps and injectors fail? Water. And keeping the water out can be a challenge. That’s because there are many areas where water can be introduced. To prevent the water from creating damage, it’s important to recognize the signs.
Signs like erratic idling, or if the engine cuts out for a moment. Those are good indicators you may have a problem.
What you can do: try the Parker DI Series coalescer and DSO Series separator; they work with each other to separate and remove water from the fuel. These products meet the ISO 4406 standard and can clean up to 5,000 gallons per minute.
When particulates get into your diesel, it can increase engine wear. That results in extensive downtime for repairs and maintenance – and is often the culprit of early parts failures.
The newer the fuel system, the more quickly particles can do their damage. Hard particulates in the fuel system can create difficulty when trying to start the engine, performance issues, and even complete engine failure.
While getting clean fuel isn’t too difficult, keeping it clean can be a challenge.
What you can do: try the Parker DFO Series filters. They’re a great product to use for particulate filtration, and can even lead to more efficient fuel consumption.
With this method, a chemical is added to the diesel that binds with water and particulates that can then be filtered out. Even the most stringent diesel fuel providers cannot guarantee that water and abrasive particles will not make their way into your system at some point down the line. In fact, there are lots of ways your fuel can become contaminated, from the pipeline it traveled through to the tanks it was stored in. Even the engine the fuel is being used to power can be the culprit of contamination.
As your equipment creates mechanical friction, water particles are being created and carried through the system and into your fuel. If this has happened to you, you’re not alone. Carbon deposits are also a natural result of running your equipment and burning fuel. These deposits can also end up in your tank and start wreaking havoc.
What you can do: try the Aquacon AD Series from Parker. It’s a good example of a chemical binder on the market that works in conjunction with filters to make the cleaning process as effective as possible.